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UPDATE:  Retail Theft Suspect Dies After Being Detained

Based on the investigation conducted by the Lakeland Police Department, State Attorney’s Office and Medical Examiner’s Office, the listed below individuals have been charged with Manslaughter (F2). Warrants for their arrest were signed on July 27th and they were all taken into custody on July 28th. The Medical Examiners findings were as follows:

Cause of Death: Mechanical Asphyxia

Due to: Restraint

The autopsy also revealed fifteen broken ribs on Wisham.

 

Charged with Manslaughter:

1.     Nathan Allen Higgins, 35 years old. – Support Manager – Walmart.

2.     Crucelis Nunez, 23 years old, Customer Service Manager – Walmart

3.     Randall Eugene Toko, 58 years old. Loss Prevention – Walmart

A copy of the affidavits and original police reports are attached.

 

Retail Theft Suspect Dies After Being Detained

LAKELAND, FL (February 9, 2016) - On February 7th at 3:05 a.m.  the Lakeland Police Department responded to Wal-Mart, 5800 N. Rd 98 in reference to a shoplifter in custody outside of the store. While enroute to the store, LPD officers received a second call from dispatch that the subject in custody was not breathing and CPR was in progress. The first responding officer began life saving measures to include using an Automated External Defibrillator and taking over CPR until EMS arrived. The suspect was transported to Lakeland Regional Health (LRH) in critical condition.

Further investigation by LPD revealed the suspect identified as, Kenneth E. Wisham, 64 yrs. old, entered Wal-Mart and took possession of DVD’s totaling $380.74. Wisham then attempted to exit Wal-Mart with the shopping cart of DVD’s when he was confronted by employees and took flight running south. During the chase, Wisham kept pulling his pants up because they were falling down and at some point; Wisham fell to the ground and was detained by employees. It was at this time, employees discovered Wisham had stopped breathing and they began life saving measures and called EMS.

On February 7th at 3:40 p.m., Wisham was pronounced deceased by a doctor at LRH and next-of-kin has been notified.  Detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit responded to Wal-Mart shortly after the incident to follow-up as per protocol on death investigations and to obtain sworn statements from the witnesses. The case is still ongoing at this time the cause of death has not been determined by the Medical Examiner at this time.

Deceased: Kenneth Edger Wisham, 64 yrs old, 5435 Lewellyn Rd #5, Lakeland, Fla

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.

All e-mail sent to and received from the City of Lakeland, Florida, including e-mail addresses and content, are subject to the provisions of the Florida Public Records Law, Florida Statute Chapter 119, and may be subject to disclosure.

 


Indictment on 1998 Cold Case

Indictment on 1998 Cold Case

LAKELAND, FL (July 29, 2016) - On November 12, 1998, at approximately 7:30 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to an apartment at 512 W. Magnolia Street in reference to the shooting of Carter Lee Evans, 48 years old. Mr. Evans was sitting on a bucket outside of the residence.  Two black male subjects approached Mr. Evans and another victim, Mirabeau Hyacinth with a firearm to commit a robbery. Mr. Evans jumped up to flee and at that time, was shot once in the side. Mr. Evans was able to run to 607 N. Virginia Avenue where he collapsed at that residence and was later pronounced deceased.

Several detectives have worked the case over the years interviewing numerous witnesses, traveling out-of-state, working with the State Attorney’s Office and examining evidence. Cold Case Unit Detective Scott Kercher, presented the facts of the case to the State Attorney’s Office as one of the two suspects had been identified. On July 21st, a Grand Jury Indictment was issued, charging Patrick A. Chambers, D.O.B. 12/01/74, with:

1.    First Degree Murder

2.   Attempted Robbery with a Firearm

3.   Attempted Robbery with a Firearm 

Chambers is currently serving a 32-year sentence with the Florida Department of Corrections on unrelated charges of Fleeing to Elude an Officer, Aggravated Assault with a Weapon and Obstruction of a Criminal Investigation.

View a copy of the indictment.

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583-2357.

All e-mail sent to and received from the City of Lakeland, Florida, including e-mail addresses and content, are subject to the provisions of the Florida Public Records Law, Florida Statute Chapter 119, and may be subject to disclosure.

 


Homicide Investigation



The Lakeland Police department responded to a report of a shooting at 940 Castle Way at 10:55 p.m. on Monday, July 25, 2016. Officers found Johnathan “Jay” Charles-Pierre, age 35, deceased inside the residence with a gunshot wound to the chest.

A witness at the residence reported that the suspect, a black male of unknown age, knocked on the door, pointed a handgun at him and demanded that he call the victim to the door. The victim came to the door with a handgun, but was shot by the suspect. The suspect fled the scene and continued to fire several more rounds before jumping into a vehicle with possibly two other males inside. The vehicle has been described as a green, with four doors and folded temporary tag attached. No one else was injured during the incident.

The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are on scene today with members from the State Attorney’s Office canvassing the neighborhood and interviewing witnesses. If you have any information regarding this case, please call Detective Stacey Pough at 863.834.8978 or if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1.800.226.8477.

Victim: Johnathan “Jay” Charles-Pierre
Age: 35
Address: 940 Castle Way

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583.2357.


Twelve Hour Stand-Off Ends with Suspect’s Arrest

Twelve Hour Stand-Off Ends with Suspect’s Arrest

The Lakeland Police department responded to a report of a domestic aggravated assault at 1616 Hollingsworth Creek at 6:35 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, 2016. The victim advised officers that his brother, Guerry Jason Wardell, age 48, threatened him with a baseball bat and was still somewhere inside the house they shared.  The victim also advised that guns were in the house in various locations.

 

After several unsuccessful attempts to make contact with Wardell, the SWAT team and negotiators were called to the scene. The State Fire Marshal’s Office also assisted onsite with additional equipment. Wardell refused repeated commands to exit the home. Chemical agents were deployed into the home at approximately 1:00 a.m. in an attempt to get Wardell to surrender. At approximately 6:30 a.m. Wardell was located in a second floor bedroom hiding in a closet.

Wardell was arrested without incident and transported to the Polk County Jail. The area of New Jersey Road between Sylvester Avenue and Lawton Lane was blocked off for approximately ten hours.

Suspect:  Guerry Jason Wardell
Age:  48
Address:  1616 Hollingsworth Creek  Lakeland, FL
Charges:  Domestic Violence – Aggravated Assault, Domestic Violence – Battery and Resisting an Officer without Violence 

Media inquiries should be directed to 863.583.2357.